What did you do to your Sprinter today.

elemental

Wherever you go, there you are.
Finished installing front grab handles (driver and passenger sides). Although a parts list was previously published on the forum, I opted to just buy the Terrawagen kit for $149. It provides all of the necessary parts, and some of the necessary tools (the grab handles in the kit appear to be Mercedes factory parts). I liked getting all of the parts together, easily, but I think the value of the supplied tools was marginal. I'm pleased with the overall results as shown in these photos:
IMG_8518.jpeg IMG_8519.jpeg IMG_8521.jpeg IMG_8522.jpeg
Note that the Terrawagen kit includes plugs for the Torx bolt holes to refine the appearance; I just haven't stuck mine on yet.

The issues I ran into:
  • The supplied 9 mm drill bit didn't drill cleanly through the sheet metal - could have been my technique. I ended up using an Astro Rivet Nut Hog (PN 9456) to clean out my first two drilled holes on the passenger side, and to completely drill the holes on the driver's side. The Rivet Nut hog is a step drill bit with steps specifically sized for popular rivet nuts. Step 5 is a 9mm diameter hole for M6/SAE 1/4" rivet nuts. I liked the results I got from the Rivet Nut Hog.
  • The supplied DIY rivet nut installation tool (an M6 bolt, an oversized nut, and several washers) apparently takes some finesse that I wasn't able to muster for my first attempt. Despite my trying to be careful in the amount of torque I applied, the rivet nut was compressed but bulged funny on the face. The compression wasn't perfect, so the barrel wasn't quite at 90°. I wanted to try the DIY tool despite having a pneumatic rivet nut tool (AstroPnuematics PRN1) because I've read how great they are for small batches of rivet nuts. Perhaps it gets easier if you practice, but I didn't have extra rivet nuts to practice with. I managed to (mostly ) straighten out the first rivet nut and installed the other three rivet nuts with my pneumatic tool (a pull not spin tool). Much cleaner results (flat rim and 90° barrel with full compression).
  • The supplied 1/8" pop rivets didn't fit into the holes drilled by either of my two 1/8" drill bits. According to references I found online, a machinist's #30 bit drilling a 0.129 to 0.133" hole should be used for a 0.125" rivet; if you buy one just buy a stubby to decrease the possibility of going through the other side of the door frame. I didn't buy one, and since a 9/64" bit (which I did have) drills a 0.140" hole (too big) I opted to gradually clean material away from the sides of the hole with my 1/8" bit. It worked, but wasn't great form.
Deviations I took from the kit instructions:
  • I coated the raw metal created by drilling with Rustoleum Enamel, flat black. This added considerable time to the installation process since I had to wait for the enamel to thoroughly dry. I had to repeat the painting process for the pop rivet holes since I assumed the pop rivets would fit after I drilled the holes and painted the too-small holes, then had to repeat after I enlarged the holes.
  • I used 3M 5200 when installing the rivet nuts to improve moisture lockout and adhesion. This also increased the process time since I had to wait for it to dry.
Acceptance testing:
  • I found it easier to get in/out using the grab handles than without them, especially on the passengers side. I've been in the habit of just grabbing the wheel on the driver's side.
  • My wife (shorter than me) found the passenger side to be easier than grabbing the dashboard tray the way she normally does.
 

hilld

Well-known member
Finally started insulating the lower half of my 2019 144 Passenger 4x4.
Did the ceiling and upper half in early 2020.
Went with Siless sound/temp barrier this time instead of Kilmat. A few $ less per box. Looks like same product with no label on the foil. It also comes in much larger sheets than kilmat, just cut to size. Like before, I’m covering every sq mm I can. And even the mm’s that aren’t square.

Anyway I forgot what a pita it is getting this stuff in every nook and cranny for maximum effectiveness. Rolling it out is a pain as well. But it’s worth it imho.
Will finish with thinsulate as before. Doing the top half of the van made a huge difference, so I'm sure this will make an equally significant contribution to noise reduction and heat gain or loss depending on the season. I’ve done a bit of camping in temps 34-45F without a heater. ? Frosty!
This should make cold camping a bit more comfortable.
I’ll get to insulating the floor sometime soon.
The last pic shows the MB version of soundproofing. Oh well, better than nothing I suppose. Ohh Wait...
MB slogan: “Das Beste oder nichts”. “The best or nothing”.
I know the feeling, you do part of it and get back to it months later. Yikes,
 

Lagom

Panic in Detroit
Installed Carr Superhoop steps on both front doors.
I'm a little concerned about the 5" ground clearance. I'm not adventurous about where I take it, but my wife occasionally runs over a curb with a rear wheel. The way they have bumped out the curbs at intersections here in the PNW (eliminating right turn lanes for the purpose of "traffic calming") Is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever seen in roadway engineering.
The fittings don't look corrosion-resistant. As usual, I coated the drilled holes with a cold galvanizing coating. Tomorrow I think I'll brush it over the brackets just for a little extra protection. I'm glad I don't live where road salt is used.
 

MrBeeLCee

New member
Finally started insulating the lower half of my 2019 144 Passenger 4x4.
Did the ceiling and upper half in early 2020.
Went with Siless sound/temp barrier this time instead of Kilmat. A few $ less per box. Looks like same product with no label on the foil. It also comes in much larger sheets than kilmat, just cut to size. Like before, I’m covering every sq mm I can. And even the mm’s that aren’t square.

Anyway I forgot what a pita it is getting this stuff in every nook and cranny for maximum effectiveness. Rolling it out is a pain as well. But it’s worth it imho.
Will finish with thinsulate as before. Doing the top half of the van made a huge difference, so I'm sure this will make an equally significant contribution to noise reduction and heat gain or loss depending on the season. I’ve done a bit of camping in temps 34-45F without a heater. ? Frosty!
This should make cold camping a bit more comfortable.
I’ll get to insulating the floor sometime soon.
The last pic shows the MB version of soundproofing. Oh well, better than nothing I suppose. Ohh Wait...
MB slogan: “Das Beste oder nichts”. “The best or nothing”.
[/QUOTE

Did you remove the MB soundproofing before installing the Siless sheets? thx!
 

Rocksnsalt

There Can Be Only ONE
Yes, I removed the foam. I left the thin pieces of whatever the stuff is that’s under the foam and attached to the van skin, just applied Siless or Kilmat over it.
 
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Hellshalfacre

2005, 2500
Today I replaced the aux water pump and hoses because the old one sounded very unhappy. My local benz dealer had the hoses on the shelf. Amazon for the pump. Here's the PNs in case anyone needs them.

20210523_145923.jpg

Edit: I suppose this is why it sounded unhappy...

20210523_162416.jpg20210523_162345.jpg
 
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CJPJ

2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0 V6 OM642.993
Just installed 2 Bilstein strut assemblys/B6 Heavy Duty and the strut mount. Taking another break now, still some shrouding and the wheels to mount.
Job required two bananas, three IZZE Juice beverages and a customize hand filed Allen wrench: then .... Red-Onion cheeseburger -fries, ice tea, ibuprofen , and hot shower.
The drive impression is " Oh yeah! "
 
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elemental

Wherever you go, there you are.
Completed my Vancillary cab storage shelf Phase 1 (basic shelf) (click to expand):
IMG_8544.jpeg

I used 1/2" Baltic Birch plywood for the actual shelf. I cut the shelf to the outside edges of the Vancillary template, then used a 30° chamfer bit in a full-size router (instead of my little Dremel tool) to put a 30° bevel on the front and two sides (but not the rear) to allow for the cab headliner's inward slope. I was being extra cautious because I have a factory headliner that is already covered in interweave fabric (supplied by Adventure Wagon to match their panel covering fabric) that takes away a bit of the side to side dimension.

I covered the shelf with Marathon Interweave (Grey Mix) from PerfectFit in Kent, WA to match the fabric my headliner is covered in. I used 30 mm T-slot extrusion (McMaster-Carr) to stiffen the shelf on the trailing edge, with a 30° slope cut on both ends to match the headliner slope. I used T-Nutz M5 t-nuts for 30 mm extrusion and black M5 button head (20 mm long) screws to fasten the t-slot extrusion to the shelf in 9 places. I will eventually add attachments to the rear t-slot so that my cab/load compartment separator curtains hang from there instead of a curtain rod (not visible above) fastened to the ceiling l-track. If I decide to be even more creative I'll run some 12 VDC power up there for charging electronic devices like cameras that are stored on the shelf while the vehicle is in motion.

Biggest mistake I made:
I put the outboard t-slot extrusion fastener holes 1/2" forward from the rear edge of the shelf. Unfortunately, this made the t-slot extrusion interfere with the top end of the fasteners for the rear Vancillary shelf brackets. To fix this, I made new holes inboard further in-board. However, I had drilled the original set of holes directly in the uncovered wood with careful attention to making sure the holes were all in-line so that the t-nuts would line up along the centerline of the extrusion. The two new holes had to be drilled through the fabric and the drill squirmed on the first one so that it was 1/16" or less off the centerline (some day I may just get a drill press). Due to too-tight tolerances in the t-nuts, this meant that there was no way to get the t-slot extrusion into place. I had to elongate the hole perpendicular to the center line to bring the t-nut into the centerline where the extrusion would fit.

The t-nuts are "custom" M5 t-nuts from T-Nutz that probably work well in the own t-slot extrusion but are an extremely tight fit in the McMaster-Carr t-slot extrusion. Only two of the t-nuts went easily into the t-slot; 3 more required only minor adjustment, the other five required a lot of adjustment, with two of them requiring a lot lot. I 'adjusted' them by filing them on the top and bottom until they slid into the t-slot except for the last one, which required adjustments (filing) to the angled part of the sides before they would fit. T-Nutz does not say these will work in McMaster-Carr extrusion - I took a chance because McMaster-Carr did not offer M5 t-nuts.

Further adjustment required:
The rearmost Vancillary fasteners interfere with the t-slot extrusion that I added to the shelf instead of Vancillary's recommended 1/2" Baltic Birch wood stiffener. This is because the rear-most Vancillary mounting holes are closer than 30 mm to the shelf edge. I failed to anticipate the interference so I didn't extend the rear of the shelf by about 3/8" to avoid the interference. I will eventually take the shelf down, remove the t-slot extrusion, and remove about 5/8" from the front bottom lobe outboard ends. This will provide clearance so that the bolt can pass up from the support bracket, through the shelf, and be secured with a washer and nut onto the end.

Phase 2:
I'm going to replace the 20 mm long M5 button head socket screws with 20 mm (or 22 mm if I can find them) M5 flanged button head socket stainless steel screws. I didn't want to use washers on the visible side because it isn't a clean look, but I want more surface area from the screw heads supporting the shelf.

I'm also going to replace the #10 screw, washers, and nuts from the Vancillary kit with 25 mm long M5 flanged button head screws with M5 flanged button head socket screws to a) eliminate the washers, and b) eliminate the Phillips head screws so that the shelf looks cleaner.

Results:
I've already thrown some stuff up there that was in my overstuffed visor storage areas (emergency winter hat and gloves, navigation backup Rand McNally US road atlas, Sprinter operator's manual [freeing up space in the door pocket]. I plan to add my rather large windshield sun shades, my slider/load compartment fixed window coverings, and other odds and ends that otherwise don't have a good home.

I'm not a mechanical engineer, neither am I above average "handy" in case you can't tell. I've managed to anticipate and correct for some interferences in my van build project, but have missed others (like above). So far I've managed to adjust and keep moving forward rather than completely tear apart and remake things, but I came close to remaking the shelf in this case to correct for my interference problems.
 

Rocksnsalt

There Can Be Only ONE
Completed my Vancillary cab storage shelf Phase 1 (basic shelf) (click to expand):
View attachment 183528

I used 1/2" Baltic Birch plywood for the actual shelf. I cut the shelf to the outside edges of the Vancillary template, then used a 30° chamfer bit in a full-size router (instead of my little Dremel tool) to put a 30° bevel on the front and two sides (but not the rear) to allow for the cab headliner's inward slope. I was being extra cautious because I have a factory headliner that is already covered in interweave fabric (supplied by Adventure Wagon to match their panel covering fabric) that takes away a bit of the side to side dimension.

I covered the shelf with Marathon Interweave (Grey Mix) from PerfectFit in Kent, WA to match the fabric my headliner is covered in. I used 30 mm T-slot extrusion (McMaster-Carr) to stiffen the shelf on the trailing edge, with a 30° slope cut on both ends to match the headliner slope. I used T-Nutz M5 t-nuts for 30 mm extrusion and black M5 button head (20 mm long) screws to fasten the t-slot extrusion to the shelf in 9 places. I will eventually add attachments to the rear t-slot so that my cab/load compartment separator curtains hang from there instead of a curtain rod (not visible above) fastened to the ceiling l-track. If I decide to be even more creative I'll run some 12 VDC power up there for charging electronic devices like cameras that are stored on the shelf while the vehicle is in motion.

Biggest mistake I made:
I put the outboard t-slot extrusion fastener holes 1/2" forward from the rear edge of the shelf. Unfortunately, this made the t-slot extrusion interfere with the top end of the fasteners for the rear Vancillary shelf brackets. To fix this, I made new holes inboard further in-board. However, I had drilled the original set of holes directly in the uncovered wood with careful attention to making sure the holes were all in-line so that the t-nuts would line up along the centerline of the extrusion. The two new holes had to be drilled through the fabric and the drill squirmed on the first one so that it was 1/16" or less off the centerline (some day I may just get a drill press). Due to too-tight tolerances in the t-nuts, this meant that there was no way to get the t-slot extrusion into place. I had to elongate the hole perpendicular to the center line to bring the t-nut into the centerline where the extrusion would fit.

The t-nuts are "custom" M5 t-nuts from T-Nutz that probably work well in the own t-slot extrusion but are an extremely tight fit in the McMaster-Carr t-slot extrusion. Only two of the t-nuts went easily into the t-slot; 3 more required only minor adjustment, the other five required a lot of adjustment, with two of them requiring a lot lot. I 'adjusted' them by filing them on the top and bottom until they slid into the t-slot except for the last one, which required adjustments (filing) to the angled part of the sides before they would fit. T-Nutz does not say these will work in McMaster-Carr extrusion - I took a chance because McMaster-Carr did not offer M5 t-nuts.

Further adjustment required:
The rearmost Vancillary fasteners interfere with the t-slot extrusion that I added to the shelf instead of Vancillary's recommended 1/2" Baltic Birch wood stiffener. This is because the rear-most Vancillary mounting holes are closer than 30 mm to the shelf edge. I failed to anticipate the interference so I didn't extend the rear of the shelf by about 3/8" to avoid the interference. I will eventually take the shelf down, remove the t-slot extrusion, and remove about 5/8" from the front bottom lobe outboard ends. This will provide clearance so that the bolt can pass up from the support bracket, through the shelf, and be secured with a washer and nut onto the end.

Phase 2:
I'm going to replace the 20 mm long M5 button head socket screws with 20 mm (or 22 mm if I can find them) M5 flanged button head socket stainless steel screws. I didn't want to use washers on the visible side because it isn't a clean look, but I want more surface area from the screw heads supporting the shelf.

I'm also going to replace the #10 screw, washers, and nuts from the Vancillary kit with 25 mm long M5 flanged button head screws with M5 flanged button head socket screws to a) eliminate the washers, and b) eliminate the Phillips head screws so that the shelf looks cleaner.

Results:
I've already thrown some stuff up there that was in my overstuffed visor storage areas (emergency winter hat and gloves, navigation backup Rand McNally US road atlas, Sprinter operator's manual [freeing up space in the door pocket]. I plan to add my rather large windshield sun shades, my slider/load compartment fixed window coverings, and other odds and ends that otherwise don't have a good home.

I'm not a mechanical engineer, neither am I above average "handy" in case you can't tell. I've managed to anticipate and correct for some interferences in my van build project, but have missed others (like above). So far I've managed to adjust and keep moving forward rather than completely tear apart and remake things, but I came close to remaking the shelf in this case to correct for my interference problems.
Nice. Sounds like that shelf should be quite sturdy. I have the Vancillary kit too. I didn’t do any the reinforcing upgrades you did, but I know the shelf could certainly benefit. I keep my cab window vents, set of Quest Overland cab blackout shades, a spare coat and jacket in a zip up bag, a thin spare blanket, some kind of clamping phone holder, and an occasional bag’osnacks. There’s room for more. I have a cargo net off amazon that’s not the greatest fit but keeps everything inside the shelf area if on a rough road or steep incline. Planning on installing a curtain setup on there someday for extra privacy and warmth in winter. So handy to have that shelf up there.
 
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Lagom

Panic in Detroit

doctorzaius

Active member
I've thought about using a split cooler like that, but had some doubts about how they would handle sustained vibration on the road. Good luck with yours!
 

vanski

The most interesting member in the world
I’ve been using a mini split on another build (pictured box) for the last three years with no issue. I’m definitely putting more thought into this configuration and am optimistic it will be as trouble free. Time will tell!
 

doctorzaius

Active member
I’ve been using a mini split on another build (pictured box) for the last three years with no issue. I’m definitely putting more thought into this configuration and am optimistic it will be as trouble free. Time will tell!
I think its a really good idea.
 

Rocksnsalt

There Can Be Only ONE
I’ve been using a mini split on another build (pictured box) for the last three years with no issue. I’m definitely putting more thought into this configuration and am optimistic it will be as trouble free. Time will tell!
what are the specs of your power and battery system to run that?
 

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